February 2009: Mocked Asians in Group Photo
At age 16, the Last Song actress dealt with her first accusation of racism, a charge which would return during her Bangerz era and beyond. In a group photo, Cyrus, boyfriend Justin Gaston and several other friends were seen slanting their eyes in a gesture typically made in mockery of Asian people. Many groups like the OCA demanded an apology; at first, Cyrus was quick to dismiss them, arguing that she was just making "goofy faces" with pals. After a rejected first apology, she issued a second mea culpa, noting the "valuable lesson" gleaned from the experience.